It’s become common for patient complaints to make the rounds on social media. Occasionally, more outrageous or colorful claims go viral. Few capture the attention of major market media, though if you paged through the May 18, 2022 edition of the New York Post you would have been hard pressed to miss the headline screaming Shocked patient charged $40 ‘for crying’ during doctor’s appointment. The article stemmed from social media posts recounting a medical visit in which a patient struggling with a persistent, unnamed medical condition became emotional during the encounter. Despite the fact that no one asked what was making her cry or inquired about her wellbeing (she claims), the postvisit summary of services included a $40 charge for “brief emotional/behavioral assessment” right along with fees for a visual acuity screen, capillary blood draw, and other ordinary items. While it’s easy to dismiss the story as extreme, it does illustrate the importance of billing ethically and responsibly, as well as the potential danger to your reputation when patients leave your facility angry. For more on the latter, read How To Protect Your Urgent Care’s Reputation from Online Trolls and Social Media Terrorists in the JUCM archive.
There’s No Crying in Urgent Care! (But If There Is, Can You Really Bill for It?)